Our Review Of The Best Meat Slicer For Home

Meat Slicer Review Chef'sChoice 609

Who would most want a meat slicer at home?

If you cure a lot of meats, hunt and butcher game consistently, or buy meat whole in bulk, then a home slicer may be for you. A good home meat slicer will allow you to slice a variety of foods including meats, breads, and vegetables, quickly and consistently.

Criteria we considered.

This review of meat slicers is specifically for machines we consider for “home use”. While some people can afford and appreciate a commercial grade slicer, we made some assumptions to make our top choice. We expect home meat slicers to be used less than commercial slicers, which are expected to be used for several minutes at a time, several times a day.

This doesn’t mean your home slicer can’t do that, as you’ll see, but it is not the primary concern, as the motor power and part construction required for commercial meat slicers would be considered over engineered for home use. This is important to consider so that you’re not overpaying for too much in your meat slicer. We wanted it to be strong enough to compete with commercial grade slicers, but did not expect it to be used for hours. This doesn’t mean that durability and quality is skimped on, however. Generally, this meant that motors and blades were smaller.

These could also be positives for the home kitchen, as these meat slicers do not take up as much space as a commercial one and run much quieter. We also gave more points to aesthetics and size, because a home meat slicer should be able to fit on your counter table and be moved out of the way easily.

Affordability was also a key consideration. A home meat slicer is not a cheap appliance, and we wanted to make sure the machine could justify its cost. We sought to find a balance between, durability, consistency, ease of use, maintainability, and price.

We will look at commercial grade meat slicers in a future review.

Our recommended choice meat slicer for at home use

Chef'sChoice 609 Meat Slicer ReviewThis review of meat slicers was last updated on June, 2016. 

The Chef’sChoice Electric Food Slicer Model 609 is an excellent meat slicer for home use and our top pick. It did well slicing meats, cheeses, breads, and even vegetables and compares favorably with higher end models. At an MSRP of $99.99, it beat out many more expensive models for functionality without losing durability or quality.

 

Our recommendation for meat slicers that were also great:

Nesco’s FS-250 came in as our close second choice.

It featured a larger blade, great construction and price, but was pretty hefty, weighing in at just over 13 lbs.

Nesco meat slicer review

Chef’sChoice also makes an upgraded model of the 609 called the 615.

If you prefer the 609 with better aesthetics and slightly better construction, this model is the one for you, although it comes at a slight premium compared to our top pick.

Maxi-Matic EMT-503B

maximatic meat slicer review

This one beat out our other home meat slicers in this review for its looks, while maintaining a high quality and decent price, but reviewers did not find it as easy to use as some of our other models.

KitchenWare Station’s MS-6 was out high end choice for a meat slicer.

KWS meat slicer review

It packs a powerful engine, great aesthetics, and super smooth blade in a compact body. It was a bit too compact for some of our reviewers however, with the smallest blade in the bunch at 6 inches and definitely the priciest we reviewed. It’s also the heaviest, despite its size, coming in at above 20 lbs. But if design is your priority, the other slicers couldn’t really come close to this one in our opinion.

How the Chef’sChoice 609 and other models compared in our review criteria:

Construction & Durability

Because of the strength of the motor and the pressure required to slice larger cuts of meat, any home meat slicer needs to be made of quality components to withstand even minimal use. The Chef’sChoice 609 body is constructed of cast aluminum and stainless steel. The food tray, food pusher, and dials are plastic. The internal gears are also plastic. While some reviewers were concerned with the durability of these items, we did not find any consistent issues with the gears.

One reviewer did say that the gear in his machine was broken, but the customer service team at Chef’s Choice quickly sent him a replacement. The Chef’sChoice 615 is built sturdier, with more cast aluminum and a sturdier tray and food pusher. Another sign of good construction is how well the blade stays in place to ensure even cuts. The 609 scored well in this area, even compared to more expensive models. It didn’t slip, and allowed for consistent cuts of meat. All the models recommended in this review also held onto food items well.

Flaws

The size of the meat that you can cut in these slicers is dependent on the size of the blade, and the design of the holder. The Chef’sChoice 609 holder is approximately 6 inches wide and it has a 7 inch diameter blade, so larger chunks of meat may need to be cut down to fit, but most of our reviewers did not seem to notice this as a hindrance. As meat goes through the blades, they can get stuck on the backside if the slicer is designed with a bump or catch, which some reviewers felt was an issue with the 609 and 615, but for sandwich size cuts, this was not an issue.

Reviewers also used these machine to cut large pieces of pork belly and top round for beef jerky. The longer meats had no trouble being sliced, so in our opinion, the choice of slicer will depend on how you use the machine. We recommend checking out videos on Youtube to see the machines in action.

Cleaning & Maintaining

The instruction manual for the Chef’sChoice 609 recommends only hand washing and a complete break down to clean. This is similar to all other top quality meat slicers and is especially recommended to maintain sanitation. The 609 was no more difficult to take part. One tip our reviewers mentioned was to not tighten the plastic nut that holds down the blade too tightly. Just finger tight is enough, and the machine will do the rest once it is turned on. Still, it wasn’t the easiest to take apart and clean, with people mentioning to be careful with the blade. They also found some spots difficult, though not impossible, to access. This was a common theme with all the models reviewed.

Lubrication of moving parts is also recommended to maintain these machines.While you can purchase a pro gel to lubricate the moving pieces, Chef’sChoice’s manual says that petroleum jelly is fine to use.

Noise level

Reviewers said the 609 was not quiet, but was comparable, if not better than most other slicers. This is likely due to its smaller engine. It’s noise level was said to be less than that of a food processor. Our loudest machine tested was the Nesco, although only by a bit in the 65 decibel range. Our quietest model was the KitchenWares Station MS-6 in the 58 decibel range. We attribute this to its quality construction and hefty base.

Safety

Safety measures in a home meat slicer are important. We didn’t expect someone at home to have OSHA level safety practices in place, so the meat slicers reviewed needed to have intuitive and sensible safety measures. All the models reviewed had thumb guards and hand protectors. The Chef’sChoice 609 blade can also be locked away so that it is mostly, although not entirely, covered. While the 609 does have a plastic holder that presses the meat while it slices, some people found it difficult to put enough even pressure and would use their hand pressing against the holder or the meat instead. We recommend using a glove in all cases to protect from use. Like the other slicers in the Chef’s Choice line, the on/off button is easy to access.

Slicing options

We were able to make slices as large as 3/4 inches thick with the Chef’sChoice 609. Thinness will depend on the type of meat, but for hard meats like salami, we were able to get charcuterie board and deli meat thin slices at approximately 1/4 inch. This was as good as any of the meat slicers we reviewed, and found little discernible difference amongst them.

 

Blade

Meat Slicer Non Serrated Blade

Blade size is an important factor when deciding on which meat slicer to purchase for your home. The Chef’sChoice 609 and 615 come with 7 inch serrated edge blades. Reviewers gave them high marks for sharpness. The Nesco FS-250 comes with a larger 8.7 inch serrated blade, which some reviewers preferred. The KitchenWares Station MS-6 comes with a 6 inch blade. All of these brands have other models with different size blades that we believe are worth considering if you absolutely must have a certain size meat slicer.

Looks

Chef'sChoice 609 Meat Slicer ReviewThe best way we can describe the Chef’sChoice 609’s aesthetics is unobtrusive. We don’t think it’ll win any beauty contests, but it’s not ugly either. The color blends in well with any kitchen decor, even if it is a bit boring. Also, the 609’s construction is not as “muscular” as the 615 or other meat slicers. Reviewers felt that the metallic color of the 615 and graceful lines made it much more appealing if one were to beat it out on the counter. The MaxiMatic in black got high marks for looks, although it did not get as consistently high marks in ease of use at the Chef’s Choice. The KWS Premium was also highly recommended, although it is much pricier at a littler over $300.

Chef'sChoice 615 Meat Slicer Reviewmaximatic meat slicer reviewKitchenWares Station Meat Slicer ReviewNesco meat slicer review

Wattage

Wattage in motors alludes to the amount of power the machine can produce. Usually, more watts input power means more horsepower output. For a meat slicer, this is how fast it spins and how much torque it can withstand. Without getting too into the weeds, our research showed that the differences in wattage alone aren’t the determining factor in how well a home meat slicer works. For example, a meat slicer with sharp blades and well constructed parts will keep the food sliced at the right pressure and your slicer will work fine.

The important thing is not to force the food item too hard into the slicer, as this can cause lower wattage slicers to overheat and break. We found that we couldn’t tell much difference that wattage made. It is only a part of the overall functionality of the product. Most home meat slicers were in the 100 to 200 range.

For commercial meat slicers, just to compare, we saw most in the 150-watt range and as high as 300-watt motors. As you can see, the ranges intersect. We believe that wattage is too small of a part of the overall system to make it a primary factor in purchasing. If speed is an important factor, we recommend the Nesco or KitchenWares Station as a better choice than the 609, as they did perform slightly faster cuts.

Warranty

Just about all the major appliance manufacturers include a warranty with their products. The Chef’sChoice 609 is no different. It comes with a 1-year limited warranty, which we found to be standard with high quality manufacturers. All of the meat slicers we recommend in this review came with warranties. We also checked on their customer service. The slicers that made it to this list, including the Chef’sChoice line all had prompt and friendly customer service.

There were a few brands that did not make it to this list specifically because the warranty information was unclear or difficult to get a hold of their customer service. Since our sample size was small, we do not point them out here and will check on them again in the future. But what we found is that many meat slicers are private label versions of other manufacturers, which is probably why warranty information was difficult to ascertain. Be sure to visit the manufacturer’s website before purchasing. Reseller sites such as Amazon or E-bay may lack warranty information.

Add-ons

We recommend getting the non-serrated blade with the Chef’sChoice 609. The non-serrated blade is an easy and affordable way to upgrade the whole system. It allows for cuts with items that easily break apart, such as chicken breasts. Reviewers also mentioned that a non serrated blade allowed them to cut cheese and meats into much thinner slices.

Cut resistant gloves for meat slicing

We also recommend cut resistant gloves to use when operating the slicer and when cleaning the blades. We recommend hand washing all components that touch food after using these machines. The sharpness of the blade is important to keep the meat slicer working efficiently. If you will be using your meat slicer option, gloves are a must then, as part of maintenance and consistent use.

Conclusion

Chef'sChoice 609 Meat Slicer Review

The Chef’sChoice 609 has all the functionality one would need to slice an assortment of foods at home. It compares well with higher end models in every important aspect, while having a very reasonable price. It is our top choice meat slicer for its affordability and overall quality.

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